By Hanif S. Kalia
Jul 10 - 16, 2000
World Congress on Information Technology is among the oldest and
biggest events in the IT industry and is organized every two years by World Information
Technology Services Alliance at different locations of the world. This year it was held at
Taiwan, Taipei from 11 June to 14 June 2000. The main objectives of the Congress are as
a) Sharing of ideas among the top leaders of IT Industry.
b) To provide a platform for collaborations among the
c) To discuss the present and future trend of the
Industry and help set a direction for the future.
This year the theme of the Congress was
IT- for a Better World
Keeping in view the invaluable importance of this summit, the KalSoft
Pvt Ltd, a project of Kalia Group decided to send a strong delegation comprising of Mr.
Abdul Ghaffar Memon, Chief Executive and Khurram Kalia, Director Software Development, to
represent Pakistan in this World forum.
The highlight of the whole trip was obviously the privilege of
listening first hand to the gurus of the IT industry as they unfold their visions and
ideas for the future. What in their view has the future in store for us? How will this new
and emerging technology affect our social and commercial lives on individual as well as
What are the expected benefits and the potential threats associated
with the advent of IT in our lives? In general how should we prepare ourselves for what is
Some of the big names among the list of speakers and delegates
l William (Bill) Gates Chairman and Chief Software
2 Carleton S. Fiorina- President and CEO of Hewlett
3 James Young- Chairman and Co-founder of Red Hat (Linux)
4 Chambers-President and CEO of Cisco Systems
5 James S. Gilmore- Governor of Virginia, USA
6 Dr. Robert A. Mundell- Noble Prize Laureate
7 John Patrick- Chairman, Global Internet Project, IBM
8 Dr. Lester Thurow-Professor from MIT
9 Stan Shih- Chairman and CEO Acer Group
All speakers at the Congress were very prominent.
Secondly, but perhaps as important was to join about 1700 delegates
from all over the globe on a platform conducive to sharing of ideas and forming of
collaborations and joint ventures.
Simultaneously allowing the parties involved to not only exchange
information and update their knowledge but to enable them to complement each other's work
if feasible, thereby broadening their markets and brightening their future prospects.
Moreover, transfer of technology to developing countries can also take
Thus, it is an excellent platform for over all growth of the delegates
attending, both in individual as well as corporate terms.
Especially for a country like Pakistan, to explore new avenues for
enhancing our software exports. Lets take a look at all these aspects in turn, with
respect to the visit of our delegation.
The gist of all speeches and presentations were as follows:
i) The IT revolution is happening NOW. And this present generation is
responsible for taking the decisions that will impact the future generations for a long
time to come. The history will judge us on the correctness of our decisions because the
decisions taken today will either make or destroy the nations.
ii) Digital Economy is taking over the conventional
iii) Soon we are going to be working in a borderless
iv) The modus operandi of conducting business will be
revolutionized. The end user will dictate the terms directly to the
manufacturers/suppliers. Most of the intermediaries will be eliminated in the supply
v) We are moving towards an era of less paper office
and more and more of business being conducted electronically.
vi) Every company will be compelled to carry out
business through the Net.
vii) Virtual universities will take over the conventional
viii) The computing is shifting from the desktops and PCs
to PDA (personal digital assistants), mobile phones and wireless computing.
ix) Every appliance will become more smart and
intelligent. An appropriate example is that of a future refrigerator which will have an
Internet address and which will be intelligent enough to account for the supplies and
place orders to manufacturers and suppliers at appropriate times.
x) WAP (wireless access protocol) will prevail giving
more mobility to everyone.
xi) Governments will have less and less control on
Commerce and business and only those governments will be successful which will provide
better infrastructures and facilities to their citizens.
Contacts and collaborations:
Many meetings were held and all the delegates were more than willing to
do business with Pakistan. All of them acknowledged that as far as quality is concerned
Pakistan is as good as any other country of the world. However, most of them went on to
add that the name of our neighbouring country was more popular due to the quantity of
software exported by them.
However, they were willing to initiate similar projects with Pakistani
companies as well. One important thing that they all advised was to have a presence
especially in USA. This provides a lot of confidence to the other party, the absence of
which is a big hurdle in winning good projects.
Similarly, they were also willing to support us in training our
manpower in the latest technologies the training of which is not currently available in
Pakistan, or if it is, is very limited.
Thus, all in all, it was a very rich experience, in terms of knowledge
gaining, in terms of exploration of new avenues for Pakistani software export, in terms of
expanding our contact base.
It is our heartfelt prayer to Almighty Allah that in the next WCIT
congress to be held in Adelaide, Australia in 2002, Pakistan will participate in a much
stronger fashion and with a stronger and more dignified image in the IT industry of the
Courtesy: By Kalsoft